TOMATO SPINACH ONE POT PASTA
This past weekend, I received an email from Robyn with a hyperlink to this fantastic recipe on Apron Strings. I like making rice and pasta in liquids other than water, and this idea of the one-pot pasta dish (which originates taken from Martha Stewart Living Magazine) was just right for me!
The recipe is straightforward and delicious. The pasta is cooked in a broth mixed with aromatics and herbs like garlic and onions that enhance the flavor. The starch that is dissolved off the pasta while it boils aids in creating the perfect sauce right in the pan. It’s magic! It’s so fast, easy, and incredibly delicious. It’s important to note, however, If you’re the kind who can’t manage pasta other than al dente, then you might not enjoy this one. The pasta may become slightly soft if you cook it or cook it for too long.
I made a few modifications to the recipe to meet my personal preferences. For starters, rather than using freshly-cut basil, which could cost you the price of a tin, I substituted frozen spinach to add a splash of color and added more dried basil to compensate for the taste. In addition, I wanted to have additional “stuff” in my pasta, so I used more diced tomatoes and decreased broth for vegetables to make up for. Then, I added an occasional sprinkle of shavings of Parmesan on top—some other great ideas for adding ins include mushrooms, parmesan olives, and artichoke hearts.
I think that next time I’ll keep the spinach frozen until the very end to allow it to melt and then heat up quickly after the pasta’s residual heat. So the spinach stays beautiful and bright green and won’t make the pasta darker as it cooks. However, regardless of the method, it was delicious!
4 cups vegetable broth ($0.52)
Two tablespoons olive oil ($0.22)
12 oz. fettuccine ($0.75)
Eight oz. frozen chopped spinach ($0.72)
1 28oz. container chopped tomatoes ($1.68)
One yellow onion, cut into slices ($0.42)
Four cloves of garlic, cut ($0.32)
1 Tbsp of dried, chopped basil ($0.15)
1/2 1 tsp dried oregano ($0.15)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper ($0.03)
fresh cracked black pepper, freshly ground to taste ($0.05)
2 oz. shaving Parmesan ($1.25)
Four cups of vegetable broth into the large pot. Cut the fettuccine in half before adding it to the pan, along with tomato cans (juices) and olive oil. Add frozen spinach, onions, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper, and a few freshly cracked black pepper.
Assume that the ingredients are completely submerged in the liquid. Place the lid over the pot, and switch the heat to high. Let the pot heat up to a complete boiling point over high heat, and then take off the lid and reduce the heat to medium.
Let the pot simmer on moderate heat, with no lid, for about 10 minutes until the pasta has been cooked and all the water is taken up. The pot should be stirred every few minutes throughout the cooking process to stop the noodles from sticking in the bank; however, avoid excessive stirring as it can make the pasta sloppy.